Many actors struggle with side gigs and survival jobs to pay to the bills. But what if there was a better way to make big money using the creativity and talent you already have? 

Social media influencers have taken the digital marketing world by storm with endorsements, brand collaborations, and a variety of cross promotions. It seems like a pretty incredible way to make a living while feeding your passion to act, right?

Keep in mind becoming a social media influencer doesn’t happen overnight. In fact, becoming a successful influencer is more of a marathon than a sprint. But once you hit that finish line, cash can be rolling in with every hit on your YouTube channel or like on your Instagram feed!

If you have the patience, persistence, and serious drive to succeed, you can have the best of both worlds: a thriving influencer and acting career. It’s all about being efficient with your time and producing creative content. Here’s how to get started:

Pick a niche.
I’m sure you’ve seen influencers all over your IG feed. Health, style, and beauty content seems to come at you in tsunami-like waves. The key is to pick a niche you have passion and experience in, knowing that you have something unique to bring to the table. Be as specific as possible; this is a good way to ensure loyal followers. For example, instead of focusing on becoming a general makeup expert, specialize in something like organic or vegan makeup. 

READ: How Branding Can Boost a Hosting Career

Produce valuable content.
Pick which platforms you’re going to dominate. YouTube and Instagram are currently the most popular and generate the most interest from brands looking for influencers. There are two buckets that influencer content falls under: entertainment and utilitarian. Ask yourself if your followers would be more entertained by or if they can learn something valuable from you. If you can encompass both, kudos to you, a brand has now struck gold!

Be engaging.
If you don’t have formal on-camera training, now is a good time to seek out a professional coach or online class. You can tell who has been on camera before and who is just getting started. Remember that online content is there to stay so you want everything you produce to look and sound professional. Even the best personalities need grooming. An influencer needs to be the best version of their authentic self and it takes practice to perform on camera and hold a successful interview on both sides. 

Be consistent.
Followers follow for a reason: to become a part of you and your journey. Don’t leave them hanging, wondering when they’ll see you next. They look forward to your content on a regular basis, so stick to a disciplined posting schedule. Whether it’s photos or videos, give them something new daily. A good way to be efficient with your time is to shoot a ton of content at once and release segments at different times during the week or month!

Be a part of the conversation.
Whether it’s a blog, participating in interviews, or staying active in online conversations, make your voice heard. Remember that you are the go-to expert, so your online presence should be known. This will draw in new followers and solidify your brand as the expert. This is also a good way to drive readers to your pages filled with additional items you would like to endorse!

Travis Hawley, VP of Business Development and Marketing at Viral Nation, a company that represents successful social media influencers and brands, says potential influencers need to focus more on the content than becoming famous. “If your content is good your success will follow,” he says. “Social media influencers get paid anywhere between hundreds to thousands (of dollars) for brand promotion and sales. There are so many ways to monetize your social media influencer status if you have the following and ability to engage potential buyers.”

So, when is it time to seek out an agent or manager? When you have a large, loyal following and the ability to generate real interest in the products or services you feature. This adds up to big bucks for brands and for you!

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